Preacher, let these words from a legend encourage you…

From Eugene Peterson in his book As Kingfishers Catch Fire:

You may find this hard to believe, but the hardest sermon in the year for me to prepare is this Easter sermon. It has always been that way for me. I keep thinking I will get the hang of it and it will get easier, but it doesn’t. Why isn’t it easier? More people come to worship on this day than any other; the music is exuberant, with the choir in full voice and the hymns triumphant; the budding trees and blossoming plants and warming weather provide a terrific supporting cast. Every place I look, there are affirmations of Easter and what I want to do in an Easter sermon. It should be easy. But it isn’t.”

And then, to close the chapter (chapter 7 of part 5), he writes:

That is why it is hard to prepare an Easter sermon, for what can I say? I find it easy to teach you, to explain what Jesus said. I find it easy to tell you what you do wrong, to point out your sins. I find it easy to urge you to action, to give you advice and motivate you to good works. But on Easter none of that sounds very important. What is important is that Jesus is alive; God is alive.

And that means that neither I nor you are in charge, and God is. That means you aren’t coming to God; God is coming to you. That means you are not needed anymore to take care of the dead Jesus; the alive Jesus is commanding a new life in you.”

Preacher, don’t make it harder than it is. Prepare hard, yet relax. Isn’t that what Easter is about, anyway? Not working to making it all fit, but believing the Risen and Alive Jesus comes to you, right where you are? Let this week be a reminder of the glory of resurrection. He comes to you. He can because He lives.